Only a few moments ago, I slumped on the floor by your bed like a child and pressed my thumb into the fleshy nook of your elbow and felt the last waxy warmth between your ribs and your arm, as though you were still able to hold me. And I thought then about wandering upon the wet cobblestones in Galway after dark, live music from gallery bars competing with the rushing of the sea and the stars falling one by one like shivering birds shot out of the sky. Sleep well now, my love, and thank you for
Just a quick post to let you know that my beloved grandma passed away at 10:15am today. After the rollercoaster of the past few days, the end was very peaceful and we were all by her side. There is, of course, tremendous emptiness and sadness, but I am so grateful that both of my grandparents died, peaceful and warm, at home, surrounded by their family. They deserved that. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and thoughts over the past week or so. They have helped a lot.
“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.” I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. It helps me to realise that, whilst the physical form may be superficial and fleeting, it is still precious. A flower dies within days of blooming, but don’t we enjoy it, celebrate it, nurture it and revere it while it is alive? With the discovery of a newfound spiritual practice there can be a tendency, as I suggested earlier, to think that it is futile or even arrogant or shallow to take
Happy Saturday, friends! And to those of you in the States, I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been a bit quiet the past couple of days because there has been so much going on at work. We had parents’ evening on Thursday from 2:30pm until 8pm so, as you can imagine, I fell into bed pretty much as soon as I arrived home! The school term never really slows down–what with Christmas productions, assessments and all sorts of festive parties and afternoon fayres, there is always something to keep us teachers busy. I do enjoy this season though,
I’ve been thinking, this morning, about how quickly one’s perspective can change, often through illness or a sudden event that causes us to focus on what’s important. I have often listened to people who have faced trauma or long-term, serious illness and been inspired by their views. Then, inevitably, I have thought ‘What if it didn’t take something so huge and catastrophic to force us to re-evaluate our lives and our values?’ I had an awful dose of tonsillitis just before the summer. I was at home, off work, for almost a week, in a lot of pain, shivering, sweating
Teaching can be tough but, honestly, I think that working in education is the best job in the world! Little notes like this one just brighten my day. (And who doesn’t love a random treehouse?)
This comes with gratitude since, for a brief while, you saw something within me that resonated within you. And isn’t that life, entirely?
I have always been an animal lover, but recently I have really seen how much of a positive impact a pet can have upon a person who is ill, lonely or suffering. When my mum moved into my grandparents’ bungalow to look after them (my grandad, last summer, with an aggressive brain tumour and my grandma having Alzheimer’s), she took my cat, Maisie, with her. I say ‘my’ cat because that is how everybody refers to her, even my mum. Whilst Maisie these days is comfortable with everyone–even my young nieces and nephews who shower her with sometimes over-zealous cuddles
For the young men who never returned. For the young men who did, but grew old quickly. For those who witnessed things they never should have witnessed. We remember, with sorrow and gratitude. May the sunlight forever warm your faces, and remind us never again to tread in the dark places of greed, anger, envy and violence. ‘They’ are us. And they dream of peace. Note: I took this picture in the church in the ghost village of Tyneham in late September.
The days are busy and life passes by so quickly that it can be easy to forget to take stock of the good things that have happened or the positive choices you have made. But these little moments really do add up to big changes in the long-term. And it’s so important to capture them while they are fresh in your mind, congratulate yourself, smile and be grateful. My ‘little victories’ of today… I have stuck rigidly to my budget and have not spent a penny apart from on the train fare to work. I have resisted any and all